Signing a Wedding Dress Waiver

A few days ago the bridal dress store called and said my dress had arrived.

I promptly said “oh great, does it still have built in hips?!” I got a few LOLZ from the various employees. It took exactly four months to come in but my dress is here ready to be fitted.  It is hard to believe that was four months ago, it feels like yesterday! Here was my experience.

Not my dress but a dress that just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Not my dress but a dress that just kept multiplying…when does it end?

When I tried and found a wedding dress they made me sign a waiver. Not a waiver saying I would pay for the dress but signing off on the size we ordered. I was signing to say I would not be upset (in four months) due to the size we agreed on previously.

I think it was a size 6 or 8 but I can’t remember (she took my measurements and I said…you know best and I trust you). It really shows how much I remember or care. It struck me as very interesting that I had to sign a waiver that they ordered me the correct size dress. So interesting, I said this:

Do you when I walk down the aisle what I want people to think and say?

The receptionist (probably tired of my sarcasm at this point): what’s that?

I want people to wonder what size dress I got and make a comment about it. It takes me back to this straight forward point: no one knows or cares what dress you are. No one cares your weight. At your wedding, people notice how happy and how glowing you are…not your damn dress size. 

Anyone getting married or who has tried on wedding dresses will tell you they run small. I don’t want to try and squeeze into a smaller size because it’s not going to be flattering and I’m just going to be uncomfortable.  I’ll be exploding out of the dress trying to get my dance on.

I guess my point is this. It’s sad how fixated on weight and size our society has become. It’s sad I had to sign a waiver to order the correct size. We shouldn’t worry about a dress size, we should focus on being healthy.

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  1. I think they probably make you sign a waiver because so many women try to lose weight before their wedding and then the original measurements they were before (when they were measured for their dress) are now incorrect when they get the dress back, as they have lost weight. I agree it’s a ridiculous situation but it’s the wedding dress company just saving themselves hassle and grief down the road because these dresses are usually made in China (sad but true) and so to get them sent back and re-done in the now correct size would be ridiculous.
    No one honestly cares what size someone is at their wedding. As long as the dress fits nicely and it’s something you’re comfortable in then the job is done! 🙂

  2. I didn’t have to sign a waiver for my dress, but I bought a sample size that I knew was way too big and just prayed that I could have it altered down enough to fit me. I know lots of girls that had to sign waivers, though. One of my friends went to the “Say Yes to the Dress” store and they actually said it was so that if she GAINED weight, she couldn’t come back and say it was the wrong size. Crazy, but I can see why that would be necessary.

  3. You are absolutely right. When I started Jazzercise, I did it to raise my good cholesterol (on doctor’s orders). I didn’t do it to lose weight. At first, I found myself weighing often (and being disappointed) and then I remembered, it’s not about my weight. Since then, I enjoy not worrying about my weight or size. Most people simply don’t care about the size others wear. They care about whether the person makes them feel better or worse about themselves. Although you are fighting an uphill battle to change the attitudes of many, keep preaching lady. Maybe one young woman will realize she’s worth a lot more than her dress size.

  4. That is crazy–I had no idea such waivers existed! you’re right–all people are focused on at the wedding is the happy bride, not the size of her dress! We are a messed up society when it comes to weight.

  5. You mean to tell me that you -don’t- classify your friends by their jean size? 😆 Society’s fixation with weight and numbers really is sad, but I think the bridal dress waiver is more so that if a bride loses/gains weight before the wedding, she can’t give the company grief for giving her the wrong dress size… especially since there’s so much weight fluctuation going on prior to a wedding, with women trying to get as small as possible for the big day. Le sigh.

  6. dress waiver???? i just bought a wedding dress and didn’t have to sign one, but probably would have been a bit miffed if i did.
    they warned me beforehand that they run small, so when i got my dress that i loved and the size that fit me, i didn’t give a crap that it was much large than my usual size. it’s my wedding dress, i want it to fit me and be comfortable, who cares what size that means. for crying out loud!!! one of my friends asked me what size i got and i wanted to almost hand up the phone. that is such a bullshit question, and i didn’t even remember anyway. don’t spill your insecurities on me, i’m not a number or dress size.
    i don’t like how fixated on size we are – dress for your body, forget the numbers. argh!

  7. Oh my. I’ve never heard of that before!? I’m sure brides have come back to the store after either gaining or losing weight and tried to have the dress altered accordingly. Very interesting and kinda sad.

  8. Well on the one hand, I totally understand the need for a waiver. From the business perspective, if the woman gains or loses weight (intentionally or not) and then the dress doesn’t fit….that company just lost out on a purchase. It’s basically a way to ensure that they make a profit. But all that aside, We do have a ridiculous obsession with size. Like, what does size even mean anyway? I remember your post about vanity sizing and how every company is different – its like how can a size even have meaning to us anymore with all that stuff? As for wedding gowns, and other formal dresses – they run small, especially when they are designer dresses. I remember renting a dress for valentine’s day last year from rent the runway and it was two sizes larger than I normally wear – big deal, designer clothes are made for models and therefore run small – just because I need a different size doesn’t mean my body is any different than it is in my everyday clothes right? And for getting married….I don’t really get the craze of losing weight before a wedding. If your man doesn’t want to marry you just the way you are, then you’re probably in the wrong relationship!

  9. It is sad that you had to sign a waiver. That just shows how extreme the fixation is. I bought mine off the rack so I just walked out of the store with it, but people shouldn’t be so obsessed with the dress size. Weddings are great, but I think we tend to hype them up more than they need to be.

  10. My aunts own a Bridal Store – (and are opening a second) – I worked for them for over two years during my recovery from anorexia. I know it probably wasn’t the best job for me, but I had the family support and change of pace – which was what I needed. At the store, every bridesmaid and bride – or anyone who ordered a dress for that matter, is required to sign a ‘contract’ saying they agree to the size we had agreed upon. At first, I was extremely put off by the whole thing, but the longer I worked there, the more necessary I saw it to be. It is so sad that our society has come to a point where size has such importance and power. My aunts do this to save themselves from lawsuits – yes, lawsuits. There have been instances (not at their store) where brides/members of the party claim suit against the store for ordering the wrong size, etc..It can become quite the ordeal. Having worked there for those two years (I left in August to pursue a different career) … I came to notice that had we not had the contracts, there would have been problems. Big problems. One important thing for everyone to know, and understand, is that all sizes are different. All companies, all brands, all designers — they are all different – especially in the bridal world. I tried my hardest to put across a message to the clients that the number was just that — a number.

    1. This is so interesting to read and thank you for sharing. I completely understand why they have to do this, I think it’s so sad they do!

      I can only imagine the things you must have witnessed!

  11. I was amazed when I went wedding dress shopping with a friend how much they emphasized not to be upset because of the sizing. We were just there to find a dress that fit and even had to go up a few sizes because she’s so tall. The ladies in the store thought we would be mortified that her wedding dress size was not the same as her street size.

  12. How crazy that they made you sign a waiver!! I remember when I ordered my dress that they didn’t allow returns. YIKES! I ordered mine a little bit bigger and figured I could have it taken in if anything changed. It really is sad how obsessed our society is with weight and size, especially with weddings.

  13. I feel this. I’m a (healthy) size larger than I use to be, and I was upset when old stuff first stopped fitting. But I realize that really, nobody knows or cares what size you’re wearing. Not to mention that sizes vary so much store to store that they have to be arbitrary. An actual waiver to sign a wedding dress is crazy! I have heard stories of people ordering a wedding dress in a smaller size to motivate themselves to fit into it, though, so it makes sense. That just sounds incredibly risky, especially when the point of the day isn’t for someone to be as skinny as possible but for them to, you know, get married…

  14. OMG I love reading this and all the comments … it is an amazing world! When my wife bought the dress she didn’t have to do anything but pay the deposit … but that was 25 years ago, like a whole different universe!

    It is interesting how much more extreme the bride-focus has gotten through the years.

    And I agree with everyone – it is really sad that we connect self-worth to a number on a piece of clothing (I say ‘we’ of course since I do it as well! History of weight issues will do that to you!)

    Thanks for the awesome post … and to everyone for the great comments! 🙂

  15. I read in my wedding book that stores always have you order 1 size too big so they can REALLY alter it and up your bill. I experienced that when TWO people at the same store tried to push me into getting a 2. I’m 100lbs and wear 00petite. No. And I had to take in the sides of my dress still…

  16. Trying on wedding dresses was probably the most surreal and awkward part of the whole wedding process for me. I have no idea what size my dress was, and I don’t care! It was beautiful and I loved the dress and that’s all anyone will ever remember!

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